Photo by Ilia Bronskiy / Unsplash


Every moment of my life, I am carried by magic.

Annika and I fight a lot more since we became parents.

It’s not surprising, I guess.

We are a lot closer to our limits, we are often over them, and we keep learning that we are not always patient and kind and loving.

We irritate each other more than we used to, simply because we are in general much more irritable than we used to be.

We are much quicker to put each other in boxes, and in boxes that we dislike - oh, he never does this, oh she always does this, etc.

We fought again today. I didn’t do something, she asked me to do it, and we ended up both getting upset about it. We talked about it later, after Rahi had gone to bed, and the conversation drove us further apart. I left to do some work, she stayed to do some work.

Twenty minutes later, I went back. We talked cautiously about a woman Annika had visited today. Eva and Helmer had been married for over 50 years. It was the first anniversary of Helmer’s death and Annika had walked to Eva’s place with a card and flowers. She had planned to leave them outside the door but Eva had noticed her and insisted she come inside and they ended up talking for two hours.

I had seen Helmer and Eva together three times. Once, we visited their home; the second time, Helmer baptized Rahi; and the last time was when Helmer and Eva came to Rahi’s baptism party.

They were a wonderful pair. Old, wise, faces lined with laughter and pain, sharp eyes that saw through you and simultaneously accepted you. The love between them was palpable.

It was a wonderful love, Annika and I agreed. The love of a lifetime.

Eva was lucky, I said. To have had that love, that life, over 50 years of that … such luck.

It was always like that between them, said Anni. (She had known them since she was a little child.) You could always feel it, how they were with each other, you could see it between them when they were together.

I think for some obscure reason I felt like our relationship had been attacked (or maybe the reason is not so obscure, actually). And I said: It’d be interesting to know the inner life of the relationship. I mean, you know … people come here and tell us that this little house of ours is filled with love, that it does them good to come here and bathe in it.

And look at us, said Anni, laughing a little.

Yeah, right, I said. So maybe from the outside it looks like one thing but on the inside, no one can have a relationship for 50 years without storms.

Oh, there were definitely storms, said Anni. But that’s not what it means to have a wonderful relationship. It doesn’t mean there aren’t storms.

You know what, I said, and the idea came not as a thought but as a vision: We might look back on this time later and see how much love there was between us.

We might see that there was so much love and that’s what allowed us to go through this time in the way in which we’re going through it.

Yes, said Anni quietly. Her eyes looked beautiful. Maybe that’s what the others already see when they come here.

We talked a little bit more. She went to bed, I went to my desk. We kissed each other goodnight.


I wrote that last night, straight after it happened. And this morning I sit here and reread it and I feel soft and raw about things.

I don’t want to analyse anything or draw morals from the story. Somehow, it was a small moment of grace and wonder, and I would rather simply sit with it and be with it and let it work as it wants to work.

So instead of analysis and moralising, simply some more or less unfiltered stream of consciousness.

I love Anni.

It is hard to live that love in every moment, every day.

What does it mean to “live that love”?

I don’t know precisely. I mean something like: to be open to her in every moment, to be soft, to be a place where she can be, a place where she is always met with acceptance and a fundamental YES.

I mean: to see her, to see the way she smiles, the way her eyes soften when she looks at Rahi, to notice the colour of her eyes and the sound of her breath.

I mean: to give myself to her. Not in the altruistic sense, but in the sense of presence. To have the energy or the courage or whatever it is that is needed to simply be there, always, with all of me.

I guess I mean a lot of things.

I hear her in the kitchen now, talking to Rahi, and my heart overflows and my eyes are suddenly warm.


I live in this magic.

Every moment of my life, I am carried by this magic.

Why is it so easy to stop noticing it?